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(when handing in a late paper)

Most students hand in a late paper, without any extra creative effort to have the teacher, professor, or teaching assistant (TA) accept it without taking points off. That's a mistake. Here is what one student gave me when I was a TA for a business and professional speaking class. I got back to my apartment late one night, and waiting at my door was her late paper, along with this poem. How could I not accept the paper late? . . .

Ode to Gary

Gary, how do I love thee?

Could I ever count the ways?

Before you were my TA,

There was no sunshine in my days.

I dreamt that you would come along

I wasn't quite sure when,

There is one thing I'm certain of

Gary is not like other men!

He's warm, compassionate, kind, sincere

This much I know is true.

Gary, my paper's late & I need a ride home . . .

Did I mention that I love you?

Every senior knows, but not enough freshman know -- that professors are persuadable. That's a nice slogan to remember, Professors are persuadable. Juniors and Seniors know to go into their professors at the beginning of the semester to talk. They talk about the course, they talk about things related to the course, they talk about things they need to help them understand, they talk about anything -- the important thing is that they talk, and show the professor that they are serious students interested in doing well.

However, don't B.S. the professor and waste his/her time. They are busy people. But when you have a sincere interest to talk to them, they make the time. When it comes time for "favors" later on in the semester, they will be willing to give you extensions, help you out, etc. If you never spoke to them during the semester, and the first time you walk in is to ask them for a favor, they will not react the same as if they were thinking, "Yes, this was the student who was the serious one, who came in and talked to me. I want him to do well, because he has been trying all along, to do well." Personal contact helps, so be personable and persuasive.


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